Traders sold shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) on strength during trading hours on Wednesday. $51.56 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $132.03 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $80.47 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Merck & Co. had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Merck & Co. traded up $0.76 for the day and closed at $62.70

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, August 8th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective (down from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, September 12th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lowered Merck & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Monday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €63.20 ($70.23).

The company has a market cap of $173.38 billion, a PE ratio of 34.39 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $62.55 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.57.

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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The firm earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The firm’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.86 EPS. Analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 101.10%.

In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €57.49 ($63.88), for a total transaction of €1,724,700.00 ($1,916,333.33). Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 162,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €9,322,060.99 ($10,357,845.54). The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 35.2% in the first quarter. Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC now owns 80,647 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,267,000 after buying an additional 21,012 shares in the last quarter. Exchange Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 49.3% in the first quarter. Exchange Capital Management Inc. now owns 20,244 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,071,000 after buying an additional 6,686 shares during the last quarter. Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 7.9% in the first quarter. Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX now owns 675,708 shares of the company’s stock valued at $35,752,000 after buying an additional 49,558 shares during the last quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 13.6% in the first quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 637,539 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,732,000 after buying an additional 76,320 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Newman Dignan & Sheerar Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 1.6% in the first quarter. Newman Dignan & Sheerar Inc. now owns 64,406 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,408,000 after buying an additional 1,020 shares during the last quarter. 72.92% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Merck & Co. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MRK

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